The Patriots' situation against the Cowboys just went from really bad to worse in a matter of a few minutes.
First, after a successful opening drive that ended in tying the game up with a field goal, Christian Gonzalez went down with an injury that allowed the Cowboys to exploit the lack of depth in their secondary. Dak Prescott immediately threw to CeeDee Lamb, who was covered by Myles Bryant and scored the first touchdown of the day.
The Patriots then had an atrocious punt return that put them at the 10-yard line. After a false start by Michael Onwenu, the first of three by him so far, Mac Jones attempted to make a play on 2nd and 12 but was strip-sacked for a touchdown by Leighton Vander Esch.
Things got worse near halftime when Jones was, once again, trying to do too much, and threw a pick-six to DaRon Bland to put the Cowboys up 28-3.
Coming into the second half, the Patriots received the opening possession. And although they had a few impressive moments on the drive, Jones threw another interception to Bland again.
After starting the season as one of the better parts of the Patriots offense, Jones has completely turned that around in this game and looked like a different quarterback. There are no excuses to be made about his play, but there does seem to be a possible reason for it.
It's no secret that the defense has seemingly been the priority for Bill Belichick since Tom Brady left in 2020. Because of that, the offense has been somewhat neglected regarding an adequate offensive line and a true WR1.
Despite the notion that quarterbacks should be able to thrive without a top receiver to throw to, that's a Brady mindset that Patriots fans have been brainwashed into thinking because we saw the greatest of all time throw to former quarterbacks and lacrosse players for so many years.
The lack of attention to the offense is catching up to the Patriots this season, and it looks like Jones is trying to overcome those inefficiencies by doing too much in this game. This is by far the worst game of his NFL career, and it's a shame to see an improved season from the quarterback be forgotten by a performance this horrific.
Given Belichick's response to the pick-six, it wouldn't be surprising to see the quarterback benched for the rest of the game. He may have also just ensured he won't be the quarterback of the future for the team since his mistakes have put them in a massive hole they have proven incapable of getting out of.